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Neighborhood Watch Programs - Essay Example

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Since the recession has hit, the instances of burglaries have increased. People have become desperate as a result of harsh economic times, and they will engage in robberies (Barabe; BBC, "Burglary numbers continue to rise"; Travis; Woods). Precious valuables are stolen, and this includes personal identification documents, such as ID's, passports, and driver's licenses (Crime Stoppers).
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Neighborhood Watch Programs

Download file to see previous pages... When examining case studies that were done concerning these types of burglaries, is seems that most of the targets in these types of burglaries are the elderly. For instance, Real case studies of distraction burglary victims demonstrate that there are a number of interesting techniques that burglars use to distract their victims. In one instance, an eighty-year-old woman from the West Midlands was befriended by a man who told her that he would help with her gardening. He did actually help her with gardening work; however, the third time he was there he asked her if he could use the bathroom. The elderly woman granted permission, but rather than using the bathroom, he searched her bedroom and stole some of her jewelry (Crimestoppers). Burglars have used worse techniques to distract their targets, such as by making use of children to play on the heartstrings of their targets. In Surrey, a young woman knocked on the door of an elderly woman who was seventy-eight years of age, stating that her daughter lost her ball in her garden. While the young woman and the elderly woman searched for the alleged lost ball, two men entered her home, searched everywhere, and stole some cash and her purse. The elderly woman did manage to confront the intruders; however, she was not successful, and the trio managed to get away with her belongings (Crimestoppers, "Case studies - Victims of distraction burglary). Since burglaries are on the rise, and burglars are become more creative about accomplishing what they want, more resources will need to be used to deter burglars. A source titled "More Police Needed to Beat Recession Burglaries" states that there is an immense amount of pressure on the police force, as a result of the rise in burglaries. It is estimated that at least two thousand more officers will be needed on the police force to protect the public from such crimes (Reuters).
People are not only looking to the police to protect them. Other measures, such as neighborhood watch programs, have been put into place. Neighborhood watch programs involve a group of individuals set up to watch others in a specific neighborhood, and these groups are increasing in popularity (Home Office). Since the 1980's, it has been reported that the number of neighborhoods in the UK with neighborhood watch programs have increased immensely. According to an article found in the Crime Prevention Research Review, "The report of the 2000 British Crime Survey estimated that more than a quarter (27 percent) of all households (approximately six million households) in England and Wales were members of a neighborhood watch program" (Holloway, Bennett, and Farrington). The same article goes onto state that "Nearly all studies found that neighborhood watch areas were associated with lower levels of crime" (Holloway, Bennett, and Farrington). Some even go as far as to saying that such programs decrease the risk of homes being burglarized and have made instances an all time rarity in areas where such programs are instituted (British Crime Survey) In order to know if this is fact, we must research the statistics in areas where there are neighborhood watch programs and compare them to areas that do not have such programs in place, which leads to discussing the purpose of this proposal.
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